The morning dawns with me bounding out of bed, enthusiasm pulsating through my veins. With a cup of fresh ground black coffee in my hand, I step outside inhaling the fresh morning air. An enjoyable breakfast with family awaits. With a rejuvenated mind I blog away. The words fly.  The day is mine.

This is life.

Then I see it, out of the corner of my eye, a tiny glint. I turn my head, clearly recognizing the flicker of a fuse. A really, really short fuse. Before my brain can tell my foot to stomp, it blows. Right in my face. The is day transformed.

This all happened after so boldly stating on my blog the benefits of goal setting. I had prioritized my tasks for the day by importance. Vowing not to deviate from the high priority duties, I published them for all to see.

We have been frantically working to get this job completed. The customer thought we should have his order finished before he actually ordered it. He said “I told you to start working on it, I might place an order”. Anyway, that was last week and this week we feverishly attempt to please the man. As I try to remove the first part from the mold, it refuses to be liberated. It will not be moved. I pound, pry and pull to no avail. Permanently botched.

Not only does this mean the part is ruined, so is the mold. The part and the mold have formed a union, inseparable even in death. Death by dumpster.

On days like this I would be better off punching the clock. I’d at least be getting paid today rather than watching two weeks’ wages flush down the toilet. Add in the element of infuriating an already ticked customer by the delay and I have grounds for depression.

As I sit to eat lunch with my wife I tell her I am practically sick. She is alarmed. Life rarely ekes any emotion out of me.

I am faced with a choice. Do I deviate from the aforementioned plan or stay the course?

I stay the course. To my amazement it worked. I kept the tasks I deemed high priority on top of the list and added “building a new mold” next in line. As I plugged along I got a fairly good start on the new mold that day yet.

The lesson I learned: by having goals I could maintain my sanity and achieve much. It also produced energy in other areas. In the evening I decided to start mowing the yard to get a jump on the next day. “I’ll mow the back yard” I told myself. Before I knew it I was mowing the side yard and continuing to the front till I was finished. This is an unprecedented act; Dave mowing the entire yard in one evening.

Where did the energy and motivation come from? Could it have been from merely thinking about what was important and listing it as such?

I believe it could.

I find it ironic that something so simple can produce something so big. And yet I fail to do it.

Tomorrow I will again make a list. Not just any list but a list of items of long-term importance.

Will you?

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Kick in the Buttocks

by Dave Miller

 Every now and again my motivation wanes. Slowly the energy saps from my body. Booster cables are needed but I fail to assemble them. It happens ever so slowly, barely allowing the change to be noticed.

Sometimes you’re up
Sometimes you’re down
Sometimes fate can kick you around…..Life is a Corduroy Road
 – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

 This tends to happen in many areas. I go to work, possibly a few minutes late, and the motivation never rebounds. If I allow the writing urge to pass, it does. When I see my unfinished reading material lying there and I don’t pick it up, it soon ends on my pile with hundreds of other unread books. My blog fails to write itself. Being a father and husband requires time and energy. Real estate doesn’t fall into my lap until I am on the lookout for new deals.

Life continues. Whether I enjoy it or not, the elapsing moments do not cease.

The choice is mine; do I get motivated and enjoy life to the fullest? Or do I watch life pass with a blasé attitude?

Life without enjoyment isn’t really life, is it?

I choose life.

I will kick myself in the butt and change my attitude. The most important thing is whether this new motivation will stick. I have found one of the best ways to efficiently use my time and energy is to utilize lists. Another successful method is the verbalization of or making public the goal. I will start this morning by doing both.

Typically my Fridays are a catch-up and clean-up day. I’ll shuffle some paper work but never really finish it. I tell myself I’ll do a few important things that never seem to materialize. 

Today I will make a list. I will accomplish one important task and one semi-important one by lunch and then do the same in the afternoon. Also I will list two additional items of moderate significance. If time allows I will work on them.

The key will be to remember that the most important item stays the number one goal. Do not go down any bunny trails. Stay the course. 

List of forenoon tasks:

  1. Eat breakfast with my family.
  2. Write 300 words for my next blog.
  3. Finish and start a new mold.

After lunch list:

  1. Spend 1 hour with my speed reading course.
  2. Network with at least five real estate contacts

Additional tasks of moderate importance.

  • Compile a report for my banker; P&L, 2010 tax returns, etc.
  • Make a list of tasks for next week.

I have one task from each category on this list. By completing one task in each area my motivation will grow.

  • Family/Father/Husband
  • Work
  • Blog
  • Real Estate
  • Reading

 I truly believe the accomplishment of these five tasks will result in a bigger desire. By focusing on the important tasks I will not only complete them, I will feel good about the accomplishment.

Enthusiasm is mine. My spirit renewed.

Now this is life!

Easy Money

By Dave Miller 

Easy money is a thing of the past. Financing real estate was a breeze a year or two ago but is now equivalent to a circus dog jumping through hoops of fire. You must be careful or you’ll singe your well-groomed hide.

 Banks are more stringent. They turn up their nose at things where they usually would have licked their chops. They now ask for items never mentioned before such as vacancy, debt service coverage ratios, additional collateral, etc.

In the past I could easily have financing – with merely a half-dozen questions – in thirty days or less. Now it takes up to sixty days and I must answer a couple inquiries every week.

Until the banks loosen their tight lending standards, the money supply will not increase. The printing presses have been running rampant but the banks are constricting, thus holding back the looming inflation. This is temporary. The banks must eventually lend in order to survive.

So far the banks have not showed any hope of changing their standards. This is bad news – for them. It will bankrupt them.

I find it ironic that when the savvy investors were getting cautious, the banks were encouraging the inexperienced to get in or be left behind. Now with all the post rapture blood on the streets the savvy are seeing opportunity again. But the banks stand there wagging their heads.

What shall we say then? Shall we be broken and allow the opportunities to pass? No. We must improvise. Adapt. Many times have I said these words – “adapt or die” – and they still hold true today.

Many investors are discouraged with the meager returns they get at the bank. Often these people are older individuals who accumulated their money over time. They have seen many ups and downs. They have seen real estate be a solid rock surrounded by shifting sand. Most do not want to hold real estate but like the stability it has. They do not want the hassles, just the concrete, higher return on investment.

If you help them solidify their capital with a better than average return – you are in business. You make money while they do the same. You are happy. They are happy. These are the crucial ingredients for an outstanding long-term relationship.

To keep them happy you must seek to understand them – your lenders. All will vary in needs but most just want a check on the date it is due. They want you to fulfill your promises. Build an honest, trustworthy relationship with them. They will ask you to come back.

The more you use private money the more you will want to make it priority over dealing with a bank. Private money investors tend to be uncomplicated, down-to-earth people who are easy to work with.

There is no comparison between banks and private money investors. If you treat your investors right you will have a waiting line. They will call you asking if you are in need of money. Has a banker call you offering money?

You are better equipped with a list of names to call. Otherwise potential people will be missed. Start building your private investor list today. This list will become your lifeline, your most valuable asset.

With a little work it’s back to easy money.

Quotable quote:  I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it. – Terry Pratchett:

Post note: If you are an investor wanting a solid, well-paying investment please contact me. I will gladly add you to my list.                             

If you are a buyer in need of financing, feel free to contact me. I will be thrilled to assist you – if I am able.

Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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